Large queues at Palma airport. | Guillermo Esteban

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40,000 German tourists will arrive in Mallorca over the next ten days and Airlines and Tour Operators say demand is increasing by the day.

266 flights from Germany are scheduled to arrive in Palma between now and April 5 and they’re 85% full.

"We are a long way from the statistics recorded at Easter in 2019,” said TUI, FTI, Alltours, DER Touristik and Schauinsland Reisen.

Condor, Eurowings, EasyJet and Lufthansa say bookings have increased over the past 4 days, mainly because the German Government is no longer demanding a negative PCR from tourists returning to Germany who will be given antigen tests at their hotels instead.

“We have our own medical facilities and services to perform antigen tests with total reliability and each hotel will be able to hire external services to administer them,” said Javier Vich, President of the Hotel Association of Palma and Cala Major.

“No tourist will get on the bus or arrive at Palma airport without having a negative antigen test,” said Ian Livesey, TUI Director for the Peninsula & Balearic Islands. “The safety of customers is a priority, for us and for the airlines.”

The German tourism employer DRV, Tourist Groups and Airlines have pushed for the removal of a mandatory negative PCR on return to Germany and proposed that antigen tests be administered at the destination, which is a cheaper option for tourists.

However, the German Government's final decision hinges on contagion index results for this weekend.

"It is difficult to restrict flights abroad, because there are important legal impediments and they must be taken seriously,” explains Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Controversy

Tour operators and hoteliers have expressed surprise and dissatisfaction over the coronavirus restrictions imposed on tourists staying in hotels and holiday accommodation.

"There is widespread confusion,” said Vich. “We are confused with the rules that Turisme wants to impose inside hotels.”

Hoteliers and Tour Operators claim that "banning outdoor activities and forcing tourists to move inside hotels contradicts health and security regulations in tourist establishments."